Hundreds of British Tamil organisations call for an independent international investigation into Tamil genocide

Over 250 British Tamil organisations have called on the British government to sponsor a resolution at the 46 th UN Human Rights Council session, this March, which established an “International Independent Investigative Mechanism” to investigate war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan military including the charge of genocide against the Tamil people. The cosponsored letter highlighted that almost 12 years have passed since the end of the armed conflict and “successive governments of Sri Lanka […] continue to deny that any crimes were committed on the part of the Sri Lankan state and prevent...

Tamil journalist assaulted and threatened in Batticaloa

A Tamil journalist was assaulted and threatened by a group of unidentified people, when he went to film a protest in Batticaloa on Tuesday. Kugarasu Subojan traveled to Eravur, Batticaloa to cover a local protest against the ‘Airtel Tower’ on Tuesday morning when he was approached and threatened by a group of unidentified persons.

Human rights lawyer Kumar Ponnanmbalam commemorated 21 years on

Commemorating the life of Maamanithar Kumar Ponnanmbalam, a prominent Tamil human rights lawyer and leader of the All-Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), the Tamil National People’s Front held a memorial at Kalladi, Batticaloa. Kumar Ponnanmbalam was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on 5 th January 2000 whilst in his car on Ramakrishna Lane, in the Tamil area of Colombo, Wellawatte. His murder came only a few days after he had written an open letter to then-President Chandrika, condemning her anti-Tamil policies. In his letter he wrote: "The Tamil Nation has, through the Delegation of the Tamil...

Indian foreign minister visits Sri Lanka as concerns continue to mount

S. Jaishankar, the Indian Minister of External Affairs, has landed in Sri Lanka for a diplomatic visit aimed at strengthening bilateral relations. During the visit, from the 5-7 January, Jaishankar is expected to “hold discussions with his counterpart and Sri Lanka’s leadership on the entire gamut of bilateral relations”. According to the External Affairs Ministry , this is the first foreign trip that the Minister is making in 2021 and will also be the first high-ranking foreign official that Sri Lanka receives this year. “(The meeting) signifies the priority both countries attach to...

Buddhist monk occupies land belonging to Mannar Thiruketheeswaram temple administration

Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) MP for the Vanni district, Charles Nirmalanathan visited the Thiruketheeswaram temple in Mannar last week, after concerns were raised from the landowners that a Buddhist monk had occupied their land. The land, which extends to an area of 5 acres in Manthai, was granted to the Shaivite Trust on a 99-year lease and has long-been under the maintenance of the Thiruketheeswaram temple administration.

Former TNPF member Manivannan wins Jaffna mayoral elections with EPDP support

Former Tamil National People’s Front (TNPF) member Visvalingam Manivannan, was elected as Jaffna mayor, in a closely contested mayoral election, last Wednesday. Former mayor Emmanuel Arnold, member of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), finished second by securing one vote less than attorney Manivannan.

Protesters in Vavuniya demand release of political prisoners after eleven years of denied justice

The New-Democratic Marxist-Leninist Party led a protest in front of the Vavuniya hospital demanding the immediate release of political prisoners and insisting they be given presidential pardons.

Sinhala Buddhist protest against Muslim burials despite medical evidence

(Photos by Eshan Dasanayaka) The Sinhala nationalist organisation, Sinhale Api, have staged a protest outside the Presidential Secretariat today, demanding the government continue its draconian policy of forced cremations despite the international backlash and Sri Lanka’s Medical Association (SLMA) reporting that it was safe to hold burials. Sri Lanka remains one of the few countries imposing forced cremations that stands against over 170 countries allow for burials, including Myanmar. Sri Lanka imposed its policy of forced cremations on 11 April despite the knowledge that this violates...

Excavations begin after human remains discovered in Mullaitivu well

Excavaations have begun after skeletal remains have been found in a well on private grounds in Mulliyawalai, Mullaitivu. A woman who visited cattle in the area noticed the human remains and informed local authorties, who then informed the Sri Lankan police regarding the matter. Police arrived at the spot and inspected the skeleton, before posting officers in civilian clothes at the site. Excavation of the site has since begun following authorisation from a Mullaitivu court. Forensic and medical police officers are working together to carry out the excavation and recovery work, in the presence...

Sri Lanka cancels another Japanese project in 'surprise' move as debts mount

Sri Lanka’s reputation will take a hit after its ultranationalist government is set to scrap two multimillion dollar investment projects funded by Japan, reports NikkeiAsia , as international debts continue to mount. The two projects which were agreed under previous “good governance regime ” were scrapped by the ultranationalist regime led by accused war criminal, Gotabaya Rajapaksa. The construction of an elevated commuter rail project through Colombo and the development of a container terminal in the Colombo Port were set to be funded by the most favourable loans rates available to Sri...